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Dem Candidates Call to Investigate ‘Toxic Culture’ at NBC Ahead of MSNBC Debate

Sen. Cory Booker speaks as Sen. Elizabeth Warren listens at the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami, Fla., June 26, 2019. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Several Democratic presidential candidates have signed a letter calling for an independent investigation into NBC parent company Comcast ahead of this Wednesday’s primary debate, to be held on MSNBC.

The letter, without using specific names, references allegations made by former NBC journalist Ronan Farrow that the network spiked his reporting on disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, because Weinstein had threatened to reveal allegations of sexual misconduct against former Today Show host Matt Lauer. Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren signed the document, which was released in conjunction with left-wing feminist advocacy group UltraViolet.

“The troubling reports about management’s role to cover up abuse demonstrate that Comcast should have and needs to do more to shift the work culture…to prevent future harassment and abuse at NBC and MSNBC,” read the letter. The lawmakers called on  the network to “take steps to clean up the toxic culture that exists across their networks.” Spokesmen for NBC declined to comment.

NBC head Noah Oppenheim has vehemently denied Farrow’s allegations, calling them a “smear” and a “conspiracy theory.” NBC has refused to allow an independent investigation into the matter.

Rival network ABC is facing similar allegations that it quashed reporting on alleged serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in 2016. In a leaked video, anchor Amy Robach asserted on a hot mic that she had the story on Epstein, but that ABC executives suppressed it due to threats from the British royal family and fears the family would prevent an upcoming interview with royals Prince Harry and Kate Middleton.

Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts alleges she was raped by Prince Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Epstein’s former friend.

In an interview with Megyn Kelly released on Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he may compel ABC executives to testify in congressional hearings on the matter. McCarthy indicated he would also summon NBC officials to testify if an investigation warranted the measure.

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